Falmouth Property Market – 2018 Update

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As the North/South divide continues to grow in the UK property market, how does Cornwall and Falmouth compare? Falmouth Property Guru 2018 Update

Rightmove recently reported that a North South Divide continues to grow in the UK property market. We wanted to see whether our local property market was illustrative of this.

Up North, there are now just over 7% less properties on the market than was the case 12 months ago. By way of contrast in the South, there are 14.7% more properties on the market than there were a year ago…

The decline in the number of properties for sale in the Northern part of the UK compared to 12 months ago means the North is more likely to be a `sellers’ market`.

On the other side of this coin, there has been a significant rise in buyer choice in almost all of the Southern regions giving rise to the perception that it is a `buyer`s market`. In some markets this is a driving force for some downwards price pressure.

Looking closer to home at asking prices and the number of homes on the market – in the South West region, according to Rightmove, the average asking prices of new to the market properties are 3.7% higher than 12 months ago and 1.1% higher over the last two months.

We should stress, this is asking prices – not what is happening to actual property values. Regionally, there are just over 8% more properties on the market than this time last year.

Focusing closer to home, overall, the number of properties and building plots for sale in Falmouth has increased by over 50%, going from 170 properties for sale a year ago to 258 properties for sale as we compose this article. In many respects Falmouth and many of the surrounding markets do in fact match the regional trend.

Looking in more detail at the individual types of Falmouth property making up the market, it can be quite clearly seen that there are different `micro` markets within the Falmouth area.

The two most notable figures are the increase in Semi-detached homes for sale (a 58% rise) whilst the Apartment market appears to have remained static.

Type For Sale 12 months ago For Sale Today Change
Detached Property 40 44 10%
Semi Detached Property 31 49 58%
Terraced/Town House 27 35 30%
Apartments 59 59 0%

These figures don’t tell the whole story because in certain areas of Falmouth, certain types of properties are in short supply. Proximity to a highly rated primary school can cause a spike in the general market trends.

This can cause some frustration amidst buyers of these types of properties due to a lack of supply. In turn this has created some very localised asking price growth within those hot spot areas with those in `fringe areas` adjacent to the hot spots seeking to align their asking prices and expectations accordingly. At times this has been at levels where a seller`s optimism has been unrealistic.

This often leads to the property `sticking`. This isn’t sustainable in the current market. As a consequence, there have been certain sections of the Falmouth housing market with upward asking price movements being offset in part by intermittent asking price reductions where home owners or their estate agents have been over optimistic with their initial marketing asking price.

Returning to the figures above, the increase in the number of semi-detached properties for sale may be connected with the families outgrowing smaller style properties and moving on to larger ones. In particular the new developments within Falmouth in the Swans Reach area and Union Corner provide this opportunity and many are incentivised to make the move. The completion of sections of these developments may explain, at least in part, this element of the trend

Apartments and this section of the market often attract a different type of buyer with a greater emphasis on second home, investment or use for holiday letting. Have the Government`s recent efforts to make second home ownership less appealing from a tax perspective started to pay off? Has the prospect of some uncertainty over the horizon with Brexit started to have an impact? It is perhaps too early to draw too many firm conclusions from this.

What is clear on a day to day basis is that there has been no reduction in the appetite of tenants` for well presented apartments in Falmouth and surrounding areas.

So what does this mean for homeowners and landlords in Falmouth and the surrounding areas?

Well If you are planning to sell your home or investment, the key for determined vendors is to set your asking price correctly from the start.

It is vital to be competitive to attract buyers. Everyone has access to the main property portals (Rightmove, On the Market and Zoopla) and so can easily compare your property against similar ones.

When searching these portals ask the website to show properties that are sold subject to contract as well to check what properties are selling for in your neighbourhood.

Unless you have something highly unusual or unique, the current market perhaps isn’t the best one in which to set an over optimistic asking price in the hope of snaring a buyer who will pay over the odds. A property has one shot at capturing buyers attention when it is first uploaded to the portals and sits at the top of the Rightmove listings for all to see. Pitch it at the wrong price and it may be hung out to dry and fall to page four or five of the listings in the stale property section.

And if you are buying in Falmouth?

Aside from Brexit and the challenges ahead Falmouth, Helston and the beautiful areas around that we are fortunate to live amongst will still appeal to buyers.

Poldark and a hot summer have done nothing to dispel the charm and beauty of life in this part of Cornwall. People will still be retiring to these parts next year and the year after. Time poor urbanites will continue to beat a path to a better quality of life in our county.

So, if you are buying, do your homework, ask plenty of questions of the agent, find out the motivation of the sellers and the real reasons behind why they are moving… and you might just secure a good deal.

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